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The 23-year-old defender is confident the Villans will avoid relegation after their wins against Reading and QPR, but is now focused on doing well for Ireland over the next week

Ciaran Clark has expressed his confidence that Aston Villa can avoid relegation and is now focused on establishing himself with the Republic of Ireland.

The 23-year-old defender has joined up with his international team-mates for their World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria, after helping the Villans to an important six points with wins over Reading and QPR in the Premier League.

The promising centre-back is optimistic that Villa will be able to steer clear of relegation, and believes the two morale boosting victories will make a huge difference come the end of the season.

"Although I am one of the more experienced lads at Villa, I am still only 23 and each day in training and each game I am always trying to learn," Clark told reporters.

"Whether there are mistakes made or you have had a good performance, you need to try to forget about it quickly and learn from it and move on and concentrate on the next games.

"But I am hoping it will stand me in good stead for the future and I will keep improving as a player. The last two weeks, we have had some good results. It's always nice to come away after having two good results like that.

"It would have been a lot tougher if we had come away knowing we had lost two games. It's always a big confidence boost when you have won two games like that.

"The belief has always been there with us, it's just been about getting the results and hopefully we can start to pick up now.

"From 10th place to the bottom, it's still very tight. With seven or eight games to go, there are a lot of things that can happen still and a lot of teams that can get sucked into it."

Clark is now concentrating on his performances for the Republic of Ireland, who travel to Sweden on Friday before hosting Austria on Tuesday, and believes he can impress Giovanni Trapattoni.

Asked whether he believed he warranted selection, Clark said: "I would like to think so.

"You can only do what's been asked. To get the clean sheet was obviously good for us in the last game, and especially to get the win.

"But no matter who plays, they will go out and they will give it their best and hopefully we will do enough to get the three points."

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